House of Delegates Q2 Financial Report Round-Up

Without publicly available polling data, fundraising remains one of the best indicators of competitiveness for state house races in November. Admittedly, it is an indirect measurement, but it does provide hints at two fundamental components: 1) support and energy, and 2) confidence from party leaders.

In previous round-ups, I’ve included an individual donor count. I’m not this year, due to the rise of extremely small dollar fundraising platforms, where folks from around the country chip in just a few bucks to a wide range of candidates, pumping up the donor count but dropping the per-donor-average to ridiculous lows. As a result, donor count is no longer a useful barometer for support.

I look at three data instead: 1) How much they raised this reporting period (May 31st through June 30th); 2) How much they’ve raised since the start of the cycle; and 3) How much cash they have on hand.

These all tell a different part of the story. Due to the primary, the Q2 reporting period gets split into two, leaving this period only covering the month of June. Anyone who’s been on a campaign can tell you that it’s easy to not bring in much during a month, if you don’t have a major fundraiser scheduled or if you juiced up your numbers for the pre-primary period. A one-month period can indicate how steady someone’s fundraising is — a sign of growing energy and support.

However, it’s also easy to juice up numbers, by having the state party or prolific donors drop a large check so it gets reported and inflates your count. That’s why cycle-to-date numbers are also important, as these show fundraising ability in the long-term. They also serve to highlight the incredible fundraising advantages (most) incumbents have.

Finally, the cash-on-hand is important, both in terms of the potential of a campaign as well as setting the bar for what they need to raise in Q3. Several candidates emerged from difficult primaries with low cash-on-hand, despite prolific fundraising, which means they start well-behind their opponents.

One last note: you may notice my numbers differ from what you find from SBE or VPAP. When I report fundraising totals, I exclude in-kind donations and I exclude self-funding or loans. In-kinds range from valuable to meaningless, and it’s easy to use those to distort true support and funding. For my purpose, it’s better to look beyond them. Self-funding or loaning is fine for candidates who have the means, but it doesn’t indicate external support. It does, however, still count for cash-on-hand.

Totals and analysis below, looking at the 20 most competitive races:

HD-10 (Loudoun):
(Gillespie 45%)

Wendy Gooditis (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $63K
Cycle-to-date: $256K
Cash on Hand: $182K

Randy Minchew:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $58K
Cycle-to-date: $278K
Cash on Hand: $260K

Analysis:

Our first race (in numeric order) is also the first of 4 rematches from 2017, as former Del. Randy Minchew is looking to reclaim his seat after getting swept out in the blue wave. Minchew’s connections are serving him well here, as despite being slightly outraised in real dollars in June, he still maintains a slight cycle-to-date lead and a huge cash-on-hand advantage.

 

HD-13 (Prince William):
(Gillespie 41%)

Danica Roem (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $35K
Cycle-to-date: $347K
Cash on Hand: $135K

Kelly McGinn:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $43K
Cycle-to-date: $134K
Cash on Hand: $107K

Analysis:

Danica Roem swept out a long-term incumbent by an 8-point margin, raising and spending almost a million dollars in the process. Conventional wisdom says that Roem can raise any dollar amount necessary to keep the seat, which is why few have this as a competitive race this fall. However, it’s worth pointing out that first-time candidate Kelly McGinn is fundraising far better than anyone expected, with over $130K in the door so far and being able to keep most of that on-hand. While Roem has raised significantly more, she’s also spent much of it. Even keeping Roem’s money in-district will help Republicans this fall.

 

HD-21 (Virginia Beach)
(Gillespie 42%)

Kelly Fowler (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $43K
Cycle-to-date: $149K
Cash on Hand: $82K

Shannon Kane:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $9K
Cycle-to-date: $82K
Cash on Hand: $55K

Analysis:

One of the swingiest districts in the Commonwealth, “Landslide” Ron Villanueva was swept out in 2017 but the race looks to be uber-competitive this fall. The incumbent, Fowler, is raising less than what you’d expect for a vulnerable freshman, but Kane’s $9K quarter (with a $3500 loan) shows how a short reporting period can highlight financial disparity. Ultimately, Kane is going to need a lot more than $85K raised this cycle to win. This race may come down to how much either state caucus is willing to invest.

 

HD-27 (Chesterfield)
(Gillespie 48%)

Roxann Robinson (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $38K
Cycle-to-date: $193K
Cash on Hand: $166K

Larry Barnett:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $70K
Cycle-to-date: $206K
Cash on Hand: $170K

Analysis:

Robinson survived 2017 by 100-some votes, and the Democratic challenger immediately announced a rematch. Now both sides are raising money in healthy clips, and the challenger Barnett is besting the incumbent in all three categories, including this month taking a cash-on-hand advantage. The biggest question here is whether the electorate will be anywhere near as divided as it was in 2017, with a lower turnout generally favoring Republicans. Of the competitive races on this list, this is one of the districts where Ed Gillespie did best for Governor.

 

HD-28 (Stafford) OPEN-R
(Gillespie 48%)

Paul Milde:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $6K
Cycle-to-date: $15K
Cash on Hand: $7K

Joshua Cole:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $89K
Cycle-to-date: $212K
Cash on Hand: $158K

Analysis:

When Speaker Bill Howell retired in 2017, Bob Thomas and Paul Milde competed for the nomination, with Milde loaning his campaign $80K in a losing effort. After Thomas’s vote to expand Medicaid, Milde threw his hat in the race again and apparently voted not to let money stop him. To that end, he has put in $453K (!) in self-loans to secure the nomination, and won by just over 100 votes. However, he spent all that money, leaving just $7K on hand and leaving the rest of us wondering how much deeper his pockets are to hold the seat for the party now that he’s ousted the incumbent.

Milde could also be the classic example of a “pot-committed” candidate; as long as he carries those loans forward, he can use future fundraising dollars to pay himself back. If he wins and becomes the incumbent, fundraising channels will flow more openly, allowing him to dig himself out of this financial hole. But you have to win first, and so far Milde has generally eschewed other sources of dollars beyond himself, raising just $15K in 18 months.

Meanwhile, Joshua Cole has brought in $212K and is sitting on most of it. After being narrowly defeated by Thomas in 2017, he’s back again and looks to have the funds to guarantee a competitive race in November.

 

HD-31 (Prince William):
(Gillespie 43%)

Elizabeth Guzman (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $47K
Cycle-to-date: $311K
Cash on Hand: $185K

D.J. Jordan:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $41K
Cycle-to-date: $166K
Cash on Hand: $133K

Analysis:

D.J. Jordan established himself as a force by being one of the top challenger fundraisers in the Commonwealth, with over $160K so far (including $100K in Q1). Jordan has done well to keep most of that powder dry as well, and continuing the pace will give him a solid foundation going into the Fall, on top of whatever resources the Caucus invests. Meanwhile, Guzman is a vulnerable freshman and is fundraising like she knows it, with over $300K in this cycle. D.J. can’t hope to sneak up on anyone in this race, but this still figures to be competitive in the fall.

 

HD-40 (Fairfax)
(Gillespie 44%)

Tim Hugo (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $70K
Cycle-to-date: $767K
Cash on Hand: $403K

Dan Helmer:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $100K
Cycle-to-date: $414K
Cash on Hand: $286K

Analysis:

Dan Helmer jumped in the race early on, and has been touted as a major recruit by House Democrats; it’s easy to see why when he’s able to raise $100K in just one month, and bringing his cash-on-hand to nearly three times that. However, he’s going against the lone Republican left in Northern Virginia, who is part of House Leadership, and is a prolific fundraiser in his own right. Hugo has dwarfed Helmer in cycle-to-date funds, with over three-quarters of a million in, and enjoys a six-figure cash-on-hand advantage. With lower turnout in 2019, this Clifton-based seat will likely be less competitive than in 2017, but it’s clear that Hugo isn’t taking anything for granted.

 

HD-50 (Manassas)
(Gillespie 40%)

Lee Carter (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $25K
Cycle-to-date: $155K
Cash on Hand: $34K

Ian Lovejoy:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $17K
Cycle-to-date: $102K
Cash on Hand: $80K

Analysis:

At first, when a moderate-former-Republican and businessman was challenging an avowed socialist in the primary, there was a question of whether Wolfe would be able to swamp the primary with cash and whether Carter would bother campaigning besides in the press and on Twitter. However, while not necessarily “prolific”, Carter has raised a healthy $150K this year so far. However, much of that went to the primary, leaving Carter with just $34K in the bank heading into the general election.

Meanwhile, Ian Lovejoy has brought in over $100K so far (plus another $30K in loans), and has over double the incumbent in cash-on-hand. As some of the other races on this list prove, (including the neighboring HD-40), a $45K gap can be made up very quickly. However, Carter is likely going to need to be bailed out if he hopes to have a financial edge over the challenger.

 

HD-51 (Prince William)
(Gillespie 44%)

Hala Ayala (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $55K
Cycle-to-date: $236K
Cash on Hand: $141K

Rich Anderson:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $23K
Cycle-to-date: $112K
Cash on Hand: $131K

Analysis:

Another 2017 rematch; like Minchew, Anderson is looking to reclaim his seat, and he is near parity in cash-on-hand heading into Q3. However, the incumbent Ayala has far outraised Anderson, and also outspent, with almost $100K difference between money raised and money on hand. This will be on the marquee races in the fall, with the challenger having a higher name ID from having held the seat for the past decade. With both candidates in six-figures cash-on-hand, the resources will be there.

 

HD-66 (Chesterfield)
(Gillespie 47%)

Kirk Cox (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $76K
Cycle-to-date: $782K
Cash on Hand: $448K

Sheila Bynum-Coleman:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $79K
Cycle-to-date: $124K
Cash on Hand: $124K

Analysis:

On one hand, it’s weird to have this race on the competitive list, due entirely to the courts redrawing the lines at the 11th hour. Not only did they swing Kirk Cox’s district many points more blue, they also took over half of his old district away from him, leaving him in the unenviable position of introducing himself to an electorate he hopes to re-elect him. On the other hand, Cox is guaranteed to have the money to keep this district secure, while his opponent is raising good money (technically outraising Cox in June), but not anywhere close to the Speaker. When you include the fact that the district still leans Republican in a 2019 electorate, this doesn’t figure to be quite the opportunity Democrats were licking their lips over when the court’s decision was announced.

 

HD-68 (Chesterfield)
(Gillespie 43%)

Dawn Adams (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $31K
Cycle-to-date: $198K
Cash on Hand: $174K

Garrison Coward:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $25K
Cycle-to-date: $90K
Cash on Hand: $28K

Analysis:

Dawn Adams was already a vulnerable freshman Democrat, and things got even worse with news that she is being sued by a former campaign aide. However, celebrated recruit Garrison Coward has spent much of the $90K he’s raised so far securing the nomination in a semi-competitive primary. Now the nominee, Coward can start re-filling his coffers again, but the incumbent, however vulnerable, still has over 6x in cash-on-hand.

 

HD-72 (Henrico)
(Gillespie 44%)

Schuyler VanValkenburg (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $45K
Cycle-to-date: $201K
Cash on Hand: $141K

GayDonna Vandergriff:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $25K
Cycle-to-date: $73K
Cash on Hand: $60K

Analysis:

VanValkenburg won this seat in a open contest in 2017, and has the benefit of court-ordered redistricting shifting his district just ever-so-slightly more blue. Still, he’s a vulnerable freshman, and while his fundraising has been strong, he’s going to need to keep it going. He does currently enjoy a decent fundraising lead over his opponent, who has raised just $73K so far; the good news is that she has held onto most of that, giving her a good foundation to raise more money in Q3 and keeping this race competitive into the fall.

 

HD-73 (Henrico) – OPEN-D
(Gillespie 45%)

Rodney Willett:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $87K
Cycle-to-date: $172K
Cash on Hand: $151K

Mary Margaret Kastelberg:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $35K
Cycle-to-date: $116K
Cash on Hand: $65K

Analysis:

This open seat, vacated when Debra Rodman declared for State Senate, proves to be another competitive race in the fall and a pick-up opportunity for Republicans. Both candidates have raised over six-figures so far, but the Democrat Willett enjoys a modest financial edge, even before considering his $10K self-loan. In June alone, he raised almost half of his total funds, and bringing his cash-on-hand to over double Katelberg. The question is did Willett front-load his fundraising to make a big splash or can he continue that pace? The second question is whether Kastelberg can match Willett in Q3.

 

HD-76 (Suffolk)
(Gillespie 39%)

Chris Jones (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $56K
Cycle-to-date: $549K
Cash on Hand: $651K

Clint Jenkins:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $50K
Cycle-to-date: $51K
Cash on Hand: $56K

Analysis:

Clint Jenkins narrowly avoided losing access to the ballot over a paperwork snafu (something that seems to be happening a lot this cycle), but didn’t really begin campaigning in earnest until the last month. Thus, almost all of the money he’s raised so far came in June during this reporting period. This also should prove to be the lowest of the low-hanging fruit, with $10K from Democratic Leadership and $25K from prolific Democratic donors Sonja Smith and Michael Bills (who have given similar amounts to a wide array of other candidates). It remains to be seen how much Jenkins can bring in on his own, or if state Democrats will wholly subsidize his campaign in order to oust Jones in this newly drawn district.

Jones, for his part, has raised over a half-million and has over $650K cash on hand, and looks to have a major fundraising advantage as he introduces himself to new voters and looks to turn out the vote in the parts of the district he has retained.

 

HD-83 (Virginia Beach)
(Gillespie 44%)

Chris Stolle (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $27K
Cycle-to-date: $154K
Cash on Hand: $93K

Nancy Guy:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $47K
Cycle-to-date: $128K
Cash on Hand: $112K

Analysis:

Stolle’s district was also made slightly more blue by the newly drawn Democratic-friendly lines, but while his fundraising is solid, it doesn’t show urgency. As a result, Democrat Nancy Guy both outraised Stolle in June and has more cash on hand heading into the second-half of summer. Part of that is due to much of Stolle’s funds going out the door; hopefully, introducing himself to new voters and laying the foundation for a grassroots campaign in the Fall. Stolle has raised more money this cycle than Guy, but not by much.

 

HD-84 (Virginia Beach)
(Gillespie 47%)

Glen Davis (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $15K
Cycle-to-date: $105K
Cash on Hand: $128K

Karen Mallard:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $47K
Cycle-to-date: $118K
Cash on Hand: $87K

Analysis:

Karen Mallard has raised more money this cycle than Glenn Davis, so how does Davis have more money on-hand? Easy: Davis has given himself $112K in loans so far, which explains away the paltry $15K raised in June. Mallard has raised decent money for a challenger, but it sure looks like Davis isn’t taking anything for granted; hence, the $100K infusion this past month; not surprising given that Davis survived a scare in the Blue Wave of 2017.

 

HD-85 (Virginia Beach) – OPEN-D
(Gillespie 44%)

Alex Askew:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $82K
Cycle-to-date: $134K
Cash on Hand: $122K

Rocky Holcomb:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $22K
Cycle-to-date: $80K
Cash on Hand: $34K

Analysis:

Despite being a former delegate, in a district where the incumbent abruptly ran for higher office and left Democrats scrambling to find candidates, Rocky Holcomb is training the Democrat Askew in all three categories, with Askew ahead by over $80K cash on hand and so far raising more than $50K more than Holcomb this cycle. Askew is going to need that money, as Holcomb likely has a name ID advantage, but this is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable seats in November and it appears resources are being dedicated to defending it.

 

HD-91 (Hampton) – OPEN-R
(Gillespie 45%)

Colleen Holcomb:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $8K
Cycle-to-date: $20K
Cash on Hand: $11K

Martha Mugler: 

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $21K
Cycle-to-date: $95K
Cash on Hand: $21K

Analysis:

With Gordon Helsel retiring in this court-altered district, the race figured to be more competitive. However, the Democratic challenger Mugler is far outraising the Republican, who has raised only $20K this entire cycle, and has barely half that left in the bank. It’s never good when your opponent raises twice the amount you have on hand in a month. In a district that only slightly leans blue in a Governor’s year, and is likely more 50/50 in an off-off cycle year, this may need to be a race where the party steps in with a cash infusion to help.

 

HD-94 (Newport News)
(Gillespie 39%)

David Yancey (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $50K
Cycle-to-date: $332K
Cash on Hand: $286K

Shelly Simonds:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $92K
Cycle-to-date: $284K
Cash on Hand: $212K

Analysis:

Apparently proving rumors false, Yancey appears to be going full-steam in this race, raising a third of a million so far and sitting on over $280K cash on hand. That advantage will be necessary against Simonds, who is running against Yancey for the third straight cycle (going 0-1-1 in the previous two contests). In 2017, these two candidates tied. All things being equal, you’d expect Yancey to have the advantage with a lower turnout. However, enter the Court, who decided this district needed to become more blue for some reason. Now this race (along with Chris Jones) is the most Democratic-leaning district held by a Republican, but Simonds is going to have to keep up her torrid fundraising pace to take advantage of that.

 

HD-100 (Eastern Shore)
(Gillespie 46%)

Rob Bloxom (i):

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $475
Cycle-to-date: $35K
Cash on Hand: $26K

Phil Hernandez:

5/31 – 6/30 Raised: $95K
Cycle-to-date: $189K
Cash on Hand: $151K

Analysis:

Rob Bloxom won re-election by only 1,000 votes in 2017 after being massively outspent by the Democratic challenger. He looks to be trying to repeat the same formula again, as his June fundraising numbers above aren’t missing a “K” — he really only raised $475 in June, bringing his total cycle-to-date raised to about one-third of what his challenger raised in June alone. Phil Hernandez is enjoying a huge fundraising edge and has amassed a huge cash-on-hand advantage. But maybe Bloxom knows something the rest of us don’t? This is still an R-leaning seat, but Hernandez will definitely have the funds to make it competitive.

 

Challengers who outraised incumbents (this period):

McGinn (HD-13)
Barnett (HD-27)
Helmer (HD-40)
Bynum-Coleman (HD-66)
Guy (HD-83)
Mallard (HD-84)
Simonds (HD-94)
Hernandez (HD-100)

Challengers who outraised incumbents (this cycle):

Minchew (HD-10)
Barnett (HD-27)
Mallard (HD-84)
Hernandez (HD-100)

Challengers who have more cash-on-hand than incumbents:

Minchew (HD-10)
Barnett (HD-27)
Lovejoy (HD-50)
Guy (HD-83)
Hernandez (HD-100)